Millennials’ Mobile Banking Usage Is Now Close to 70%

  • JJ Hornblass
  • March 30, 2016
  • 3

canstockphoto0407958For Gen Y, the rallying cry was, “I want my MTV.”

For Millennials, the cry might as well be, “I want my mobile banking.”

About 67% of Millennials now use mobile banking, according to a study released today by the Federal Reserve. This compares to 18% for those consumers aged 60 or over. And the usage gap is widening.

These differences by age reflect both the higher share of younger age groups who are smartphone owners, as well as differences in the propensity to use mobile banking for those with a given type of phone. Among smartphone owners, this pattern of higher mobile banking adoption for the younger age groups is still very apparent.

Interestingly, the Fed data shows that mobile banking is not necessarily dampening the use of other banking channels.

Even among those smartphone owners who utilize mobile banking services, many still need or want to use other banking channels. For example, a visit to an ATM or branch may be necessary to withdraw cash, and visiting a branch or talking with a customer service representative may be preferred ways of resolving problems.

Respondents were asked about their use of five banking channels (branch, ATM, telephone, online, and mobile), and the answers provide a fuller picture of how smartphone users interact with their bank or credit union. In the prior 12 months, 83 percent of smartphone owners with bank accounts visited a branch and spoke with a teller, 82 percent used an ATM, 82 percent used online banking, 53 percent used mobile banking, and 29 percent used telephone banking.

mobile banking usage - fed study 033016Whether this is a reflection of the failure of mobile banking apps to offer enough functionality or the genuine desire for consumers to use other banking channels is unclear. What is clear is that mobile banking usage continues to hockey stick higher — and that’s even beyond the Millennial demographic.

See the Fed’s (somewhat hyped) video on the survey results below:

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JJ started the first iteration of Bank Innovation back in 2007, and has been working on it ever since. He also serves as President & Chief Executive Officer of Royal Media, Bank Innovation’s parent. He founded Royal in 1995 and oversees all aspects of the New York-based diversified media company. Prior to forming Royal, JJ was on the editorial staff of American Banker, the daily newspaper, and worked as an editor of a business magazine in Hong Kong. As a reporter and editor, he has won journalism awards from the National Press Foundation, Newsletter & Electronic Publishers Foundation, and the Reader’s Digest Foundation. He has a BS in Economics from Yeshiva University and a Master’s from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He was also a Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Graduate School of Banking. He lives in New York City with his wife, two daughters, and son. He counts among his accomplishments one New York City Marathon, two New York City Triathlons and the 2010 Father’s Day 5K, the first race he ever ran with his daughters. He can be reached at hornblass@gmail.com or 212-564-8972.

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